Thursday, October 30th 2008

Catalyst Hotfix 71310 Restores Visual Elements at Expense of Performance

AMD had released an updated hotfix to its ATI Catalyst 8.10 drivers the other day, with hotfix 71310. It succeeded hotfix 70517 for the said version of Catalyst. Hotfixes specific to certain games, are intended to selectively improve hardware performance and/or visual quality. When AMD released the older hotfix for version 8.10 of Catalyst, it aimed to improve performance in general. It was later found by keen observers, that the hotfix manipulated with visual elements of the game in an attempt to gain performance. A popular example of this, was noted in the "lost rocks" issue in Far Cry 2, where the hotfix 70517 caused the texture and/or geometric loss of certain rocks along a track from a scene, presumably reducing load on the graphics processor(s).

With hotfix 71310 issued yesterday, AMD seems to have fixed the issue. Expreview put the hotfix to test, where it was found that the "lost rocks" issue was fixed. The larger issue was of the driver interfering with visual elements the game has to offer. The fix however, came at the expense of performance. Expreview used a test-bed consisting of Core 2 Extreme QX9650 CPU, ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics, 2x 1 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, all seated on an ASUS Striker II Extreme motherboard, running Windows Vista 32-bit operating system. The testers used Driver Sweeper to make sure a new variant of the driver installed on a purged environment. Testing Far Cry 2 revealed that the issue was addressed, but at a performance loss. The frame-rate dropped from 48.12 fps to 43.20, which is roughly a 10% loss in frame-rate.

Source: Expreview
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90 Comments on Catalyst Hotfix 71310 Restores Visual Elements at Expense of Performance

#1
Unregistered
EastCoasthandle said:
Aren't there shadows further up the road :)
Look to the right.
no i am talking about the big tree shadow at your feet
Posted on Edit | Reply
#2
EastCoasthandle
wolf2009 said:
no i am talking about the big tree shadow at your feet
And I am talking about the shadows ahead to the right :). We already know that both images are not from the same spot.
Posted on Reply
#3
Unregistered
EastCoasthandle said:
And I am talking about the shadows ahead to the right :). We already know that both images are not from the same spot.
oh yes we do, but what i'm saying is that graphic card is rendering a shadow that covers about 40-50 % of the image in first image. and rendering shadows causes a good decrease in fps in most games
Posted on Edit | Reply
#4
EastCoasthandle
wolf2009 said:
oh yes we do, but what i'm saying is that graphic card is rendering a shadow that covers about 40-50 % of the image in first image. and rendering shadows causes a good decrease in fps in most games
But when you step back and look at the few posts we exchanged this is all guess work is it not? We can debate about shadows here, etc but in the end the important information is not found. Thanks for participating :toast:
Posted on Reply
#5
erocker
Senior Moderator
How could they do this?!!! Burn ATi.. BURN THEM!!!!:rockout: Honestly, I notice absolutely no difference in framerate between the two drivers.:rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
erocker said:
How could they do this?!!! Burn ATi.. BURN THEM!!!!:rockout: Honestly, I notice absolutely no difference in framerate between the two drivers.:rolleyes:
I wouldn't burn ATI, I would make note of this, to look up, the next time my wallet feels nauseated and I decide to take it to the store.
Posted on Reply
#7
Unregistered
erocker said:
How could they do this?!!! Burn ATi.. BURN THEM!!!!:rockout: Honestly, I notice absolutely no difference in framerate between the two drivers.:rolleyes:
when did they say this was a fps increase driver .

they do say that in the release notes, but it reduces fps from hotfix 1 . This driver is merely to fix the image quality "optimization" in hotfix 1.

Follow link in post 18, and you will see that performance decreases with these

EastCoasthandle said:
But when you step back and look at the few posts we exchanged this is all guess work is it not? We can debate about shadows here, etc but in the end the important information is not found. Thanks for participating :toast:
ya nice way to increase post count, now lets find something else to discuss ;) :D
Posted on Edit | Reply
#8
EastCoasthandle
wolf2009 said:
ya nice way to increase post count, now lets find something else to discuss ;) :D
LOL, and you are not? I'm not posting just to post in the end there is enough information in this thread to take that review with a pinch of salt. :toast:
Posted on Reply
#9
Unregistered
EastCoasthandle said:
LOL, and you are not?
shhh , that's a secret, don't tell anybody about it ! ;) :rolleyes:


But seriously , just read something which makes me doubt if it was a bug or cheat ( "Optimization" ) in hotfix 1.

Because with the same drivers, if you rename the farcry.exe file, the rocks appear back. ( Thats what INQ said ). In that case it will be a case of Driver optimisation
Posted on Edit | Reply
#10
EastCoasthandle
wolf2009 said:
shhh , that's a secret, don't tell anybody about it ! ;) :rolleyes:


But seriously , just read something which makes me doubt if it was a bug or cheat ( "Optimization" ) in hotfix 1.

Because with the same drivers, if you rename the farcry.exe file, the rocks appear back. ( Thats what INQ said ). In that case it will be a case of Driver optimisation
Neither here nor there in this thread which discuss the performance impact between drivers. People in this thread have already posted why they doubt those results, with good reason. :D
Posted on Reply
#11
DarkMatter
EastCoastHandle, framerates (at least in the second link provided by btrunr) are the ones they got when running the built-in Ranch demo, it's not the framerate in that exact spot. :roll:

Also it's not some missing rocks either, it's some missing/corrupted textures at some points and transparent textures that shouldn't be transparent on others. IQ is severely damaged in order to improve performance.

Anyway this news are very interesting for the kind of replies it's getting. When this same thing with drivers happened with Crysis and Nvidia's beta 169.04, Nvidia was cheating, was evil, was trying to fool everyone, was a desperate move, was so much things according to many people in TPU. Now that Ati did the same, everything is well, all the publications mentioning the issue (3 mentioned in the thread so far) have fabricated the news, "I can't see no difference in the SS", "and what if some rocks are missing?", etc. Speaks volumes about the neutrality of the forums. :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#12
Unregistered
DarkMatter said:


Anyway this news are very interesting for the kind of replies it's getting. When this same thing with drivers happened with Crysis and Nvidia's beta 169.04, Nvidia was cheating, was evil, was trying to fool everyone, was a desperate move, was so much things according to many people in TPU. Now that Ati did the same, everything is well, all the publications mentioning the issue (3 mentioned in the thread so far) have fabricated the news, "I can't see no difference in the SS", "and what if some rocks are missing?", etc. Speaks volumes about the neutrality of the forums. :rolleyes:
and how much we love the underdogs ( Although ATI is no longer that, but for past year was )
Posted on Edit | Reply
#13
erocker
Senior Moderator
DarkMatter said:
EastCoastHandle, framerates (at least in the second link provided by btrunr) are the ones they got when running the built-in Ranch demo, it's not the framerate in that exact spot. :roll:

Also it's not some missing rocks either, it's some missing/corrupted textures at some points and transparent textures that shouldn't be transparent on others. IQ is severely damaged in order to improve performance.

Anyway this news are very interesting for the kind of replies it's getting. When this same thing with drivers happened with Crysis and Nvidia's beta 169.04, Nvidia was cheating, was evil, was trying to fool everyone, was a desperate move, was so much things according to many people in TPU. Now that Ati did the same, everything is well, all the publications mentioning the issue (3 mentioned in the thread so far) have fabricated the news, "I can't see no difference in the SS", "and what if some rocks are missing?", etc. Speaks volumes about the neutrality of the forums. :rolleyes:
Yeah, I came off as an ATi fan. Fact of the matter is, I know both companies have done this before and it's kind of old news. I'm sorry, let's burn both ATi and Nvidia to the ground!:rockout: I'm switching back to my old 3dfx card, what a travesty. ATi cheated, got caught, immediately issued a new "Hotfix" to fix it. Ignoring it is one thing, but is it necessary to make a really big deal out of it? Mabye. I can't say I feel cheated, since underhanded tactics are pretty much the norm with many companies. My reaction to this news was pretty much.. "Oh!". Then I went back to playing my games.
Posted on Reply
#14
EastCoasthandle
DarkMatter said:
EastCoastHandle, framerates (at least in the second link provided by btrunr) are the ones they got when running the built-in Ranch demo, it's not the framerate in that exact spot. :roll:

Also it's not some missing rocks either, it's some missing/corrupted textures at some points and transparent textures that shouldn't be transparent on others. IQ is severely damaged in order to improve performance.

Anyway this news are very interesting for the kind of replies it's getting. When this same thing with drivers happened with Crysis and Nvidia's beta 169.04, Nvidia was cheating, was evil, was trying to fool everyone, was a desperate move, was so much things according to many people in TPU. Now that Ati did the same, everything is well, all the publications mentioning the issue (3 mentioned in the thread so far) have fabricated the news, "I can't see no difference in the SS", "and what if some rocks are missing?", etc. Speaks volumes about the neutrality of the forums. :rolleyes:
LOL this is not correct and let me explain why:
1. Those pics in my previous post are not in the same exact spot as you described
2. You can change the frame rate results if fps of each scene drawn is changed.
:D
Posted on Reply
#15
DarkMatter
erocker said:
Yeah, I came off as an ATi fan. Fact of the matter is, I know both companies have done this before and it's kind of old news. I'm sorry, let's burn both ATi and Nvidia to the ground!:rockout: I'm switching back to my old 3dfx card, what a travesty. ATi cheated, got caught, immediately issued a new "Hotfix" to fix it. Ignoring it is one thing, but is it necessary to make a really big deal out of it? Mabye. I can't say I feel cheated, since underhanded tactics are pretty much the norm with many companies. My reaction to this news was pretty much.. "Oh!". Then I went back to playing my games.
My point was not to say Ati cheated, because IMO that's not cheating. They just tried some optimizations with very little time to test them, that probably in no way should make textures disapear. I would even bet the optimizations had nothing to do with textures. They probably tested the things that their optimization should or would change and everything was OK, but "oh, sometimes things happen" and the optimization made some textures disapear. Nothing really to make a big deal out of it, you fix it and that's all.

BUT! It just happens that the EXACT same thing happened a year ago, this time was Nvidia, the potential IQ damage was not so big (some reflections on the water with bad angles) and back then a big deal was made out of it (big? try tremendous, desproportionate). Several threads were made about it and the thing lasted a lot of time, even after 169.09 drivers were released soon after the discovery completely fixing it.

So I just ask what has changed in these months that now it's not something to make a deal out of it? Isn't it it's not time but the protagonist that has changed? Yes, it's that and sorry, but I do have a problem with that discrepancy.

EastCoasthandle said:
LOL this is not correct and let me explain why:
1. Those pics in my previous post are not in the same exact spot as you described
2. You can change the frame rate results if fps of each scene drawn is changed.
:D
Let me repeat it for you:

The framerates were calculated with the built-in benchmark, it's the average of that benchmark what changed.

Those SS's are only there to show what is the issue. Come on is easy to understand:

- They run the benchmark several times with both hotfixes. Tell you the performance difference of both.

- Then they open up the game and take an SS, where you can see what was the issue the new driver is fixing. Simple.
Posted on Reply
#16
iLLz
Uh lord, look at you ATi Fanboys shooting down a keen observation by expreview. The fact is ATi simply used drivers to manipulate the game and that is horrible. If nVidia did this, it would be the end of the world, lol. I am sad it came to this and when ATi was caught again for this, they simply took the optimizations out of the driver with a "hotfix", lol.

God you guys make me sick sometimes. ATi screwed up yet again and got caught. Damn take it for what it is.

Oh and I am not bashing ATi, if nVidia did this, I would be just as aggravated by it.
Posted on Reply
#17
Binge
Overclocking Surrealism
iLLz said:
Uh lord, look at you ATi Fanboys shooting down a keen observation by expreview. The fact is ATi simply used drivers to manipulate the game and that is horrible. If nVidia did this, it would be the end of the world, lol. I am sad it came to this and when ATi was caught again for this, they simply took the optimizations out of the driver with a "hotfix", lol.

God you guys make me sick sometimes. ATi screwed up yet again and got caught. Damn take it for what it is.

Oh and I am not bashing ATi, if nVidia did this, I would be just as aggravated by it.
People who think people that own ATi cards are fanboys? Why? Does that mean if you own nVidia you're a fanboy? Please... Please do your homework before making posts like this. Apparently the hotfix was rushed and portions of the driver were left pretty messy. They came out with a fix for the driver in what... under a week that got rid of the manipulation that YOU seem to think was a manipulation of their customer base. Did ATI take benchmarks and wave them in the face of nVidia or potential customers? No. They made a hotfix to give correct support for a game, and there was an error and they fixed the error. With expreview making those kind of amateur benchmarks as proofs it is an insult to people who read decent reviews and news articles.

Please take your bloated exaggerations somewhere else. Btw-- the first video card I ever owned was a GeForce 2 32mb pci card so I could play Duke Nukem 3D and Warcraft II. Now I own an ATI card... god get a life.
Posted on Reply
#18
Trizmatic
I have seen this problem with the road. It think it is only road related too. I noticed that guns, people, and even car tires when in the road have this effect that looks like it sinks into the road a bit. I will try to capture a screen shot tonight. I remember one specific case when I was looking through the dragunov scope at a guy in the road, it looked like the road decal came up to his knees...or he was knee deep in the road...not sure how to explain it exactly.

You can see it if you look at the huge expreview pics on their site. Look at the pic where the rocks are "missing." The rock closest to the dudes left arm is light on top. It is poking out of the road decal as if it were poking out of water or fog. It isn't missing...it is just under the road somehow.

To me it just looks like the road decal is higher than what it should be and ends up covering what ever is in it just like a fog effect. I have no clue how that would be driver related but it doesn't sound like foul play to me...just an oops form a rushed hotfix.
Posted on Reply
#19
EastCoasthandle
DarkMatter said:
My point was not to say Ati cheated, because IMO that's not cheating. They just tried some optimizations with very little time to test them, that probably in no way should make textures disapear. I would even bet the optimizations had nothing to do with textures. They probably tested the things that their optimization should or would change and everything was OK, but "oh, sometimes things happen" and the optimization made some textures disapear. Nothing really to make a big deal out of it, you fix it and that's all.

BUT! It just happens that the EXACT same thing happened a year ago, this time was Nvidia, the potential IQ damage was not so big (some reflections on the water with bad angles) and back then a big deal was made out of it (big? try tremendous, desproportionate). Several threads were made about it and the thing lasted a lot of time, even after 169.09 drivers were released soon after the discovery completely fixing it.

So I just ask what has changed in these months that now it's not something to make a deal out of it? Isn't it it's not time but the protagonist that has changed? Yes, it's that and sorry, but I do have a problem with that discrepancy.



Let me repeat it for you:

The framerates were calculated with the built-in benchmark, it's the average of that benchmark what changed.

Those SS's are only there to show what is the issue. Come on is easy to understand:

- They run the benchmark several times with both hotfixes. Tell you the performance difference of both.

- Then they open up the game and take an SS, where you can see what was the issue the new driver is fixing. Simple.
Let me repeat what I said to you earlier: If you can change the fps in a give screen rendered it will change the outcome of frame rates obtained. Regardless if you use fraps or the built in benchmark program :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#20
Unregistered
EastCoasthandle said:
Let me repeat what I said to you earlier: If you can change the fps in a give screen rendered it will change the outcome of frame rates obtained. Regardless if you use fraps or the built in benchmark program :rolleyes:
you just don't agree. I would agree with you if the both screens were same.

But they are not, since you moved, post fps from same screens, then let me see what happens
Posted on Edit | Reply
#21
truehighroller1
wolf2009 said:
you just don't agree. I would agree with you if the both screens were same.

But they are not, since you moved, post fps from same screens, then let me see what happens
Fraps had nothing to do with the screen shots. The screen shots were not used to say we had these fps when we took these screen shots......... They said the average from the benchmark and just showed the screen shots to show what the issue was. I feel like I am repeating something that has been said already???????
Posted on Reply
#22
EastCoasthandle
wolf2009 said:
you just don't agree. I would agree with you if the both screens were same.

But they are not, since you moved, post fps from same screens, then let me see what happens
The point I was making was explained earlier. But we will agree to disagree.
Posted on Reply
#23
DarkMatter
EastCoasthandle said:
Let me repeat what I said to you earlier: If you can change the fps in a give screen rendered it will change the outcome of frame rates obtained. Regardless if you use fraps or the built in benchmark program :rolleyes:
OH MY GOD!

I don't want to insult your intelligence, but you are putting it difficult for not.

Let's see, for the nth time. The fps numbers posted are not the ones they get in that spot(s) shown on the screenshots, in that single moment, captured frame or whatever, it's the one they get by running the benchmark! It's the average of the whole benchmark! i.e Average of 2 minutes of gameplay or level wandering or whatever that benchmark does, I don't own the game...

Benchmark results, when same testbed is used, are always the same, or close enough because the camera follows a defined path. If you get different results with different drivers, you know what? Yeah exaclty. :)

What you did doesn't prove anything, yes changing the camera a bit can change the fps, but that's NOT what they did. They ran a complete benchmark to test performance of each hotfix, because whenever a hotfix is released sites usually do this. Then, because of the purpose of the hotfix is to fix a rendering issue, they take ss's to show what that issue was and to show it's fixed now. It wouldn't even matter if they took one of the screenshots from the oposite side.

Honestly I hope you finally understand this, because I don't know what to think of you in this moment.

@ others: sorry dor repeating the same thing again and again, I hope he finally gets it so we don't follow with this nonsense. :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#24
EastCoasthandle
DarkMatter said:
OH MY GOD!

I don't want to insult your intelligence, but you are putting it difficult for not.

Let's see, for the nth time. The fps numbers posted are not the ones they get in that spot(s) shown on the screenshots, in that single moment, captured frame or whatever, it's the one they get by running the benchmark! It's the average of the whole benchmark! i.e Average of 2 minutes of gameplay or level wandering or whatever that benchmark does, I don't own the game...

Benchmark results, when same testbed is used, are always the same, or close enough because the camera follows a defined path. If you get different results with different drivers, you know what? Yeah exaclty. :)

What you did doesn't prove anything, yes changing the camera a bit can change the fps, but that's NOT what they did. They ran a complete benchmark to test performance of each hotfix, because whenever a hotfix is released sites usually do this. Then, because of the purpose of the hotfix is to fix a rendering issue, they take ss's to show what that issue was and to show it's fixed now. It wouldn't even matter if they took one of the screenshots from the oposite side.

Honestly I hope you finally understand this, because I don't know what to think of you in this moment.

@ others: sorry dor repeating the same thing again and again, I hope he finally gets it so we don't follow with this nonsense. :shadedshu
It's obvious you will only show your own intelligence by repeating the same crap. Therefore, you are only insulting yourself. Further more if you were astute your would know by now we are not going to agree on this subject. Instead of accepting that you insist on these specious posts in what looks like a vain attempt to convince yourself you are right.

With the information found within this thread it's obvious that the results in the OP are exaggerated. Is there anything else?
Posted on Reply
#25
El Fiendo
Darkmatter, don't worry yourself too much. He did the same thing over 'Mojave' a little bit back.

Look East, benchmarks are set up like a movie. They are made to make a standard that should apply across all cards and runthroughs. Screenshots taken in the same place should have the same FPS within 1 or 2 frames because the same elements are being rendered every time. It's set to be exact same camera movements. With yours you proved that at different locations, FPS varies. They are showing FPS varied at the same location. This shows that there is a difference in the way that location was rendered. They have provided screenshots that attempt to explain the variances, specifically in this case these rocks. In doing so they show missing textures of said rocks. Your screenshots don't refute the evidence because its a completely different location in your examples.

Whether or not it was a mistake or underhanded tactics, I don't know. However I do know your arguement is slightly flawed.
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